Relay for Life: Making Early Strides

Relay for Life is five months away, but it is never too soon to start preparing. Relay for Life 2015 brought out around 600 participants who raised almost $32,000. This year Colleges Against Cancer, CAC, has already set the goal for Relay for Life 2016 higher at $55,000. Colleges Against Cancer works with The American Cancer Society to initiate and support programs that are executed by college students. Meghan Clower, president of CAC, said “We are trying to focus on getting the campus re-involved and excited about Relay, which is how we picked the Disney/Pixar theme and why we ask that teams name themselves following the theme and not by their organization.” CAC started early getting the campus ready for Relay by having tables almost every Wednesday in Lane. The have also been fundraising by selling Relay for Life gear and support ribbons.

CAC hosted a Relay for Life Kickoff event on November 5th to bring even more excitement to campus. During the event, they discussed how all students can get involved and educated students on what Relay for Life is all about. CAC offered free pizza, games, and prizes to students. They also emphasized the Disney/Pixar theme for the not only the event, but for the teams. This was the first of many exciting events. CAC is looking to host a dodgeball tournament to fundraise. The winning team will get all of the money fundraised donated to their team’s total next semester.

CAC does face one added challenge this semester, which is the new registration fee. This year participants will have to put up $20 in order to register. However, the fee is much different since all of it goes to The American Cancer Society. While Relay for Life has been free in the past with early registration, the registration fee is essential to increasing fundraising. When people choose not to pay the registration fee, there is less money fundraised and a bigger loss. Relay for Life is a huge cost, and the costs need to be offset with fundraising. Clower commented that she understands what is like to be a broke college student, but that is why they started fundraising earlier. “In order to register all you have to do is ask each parent for $5, give $5 yourself, and ask a coworker or friend for $5. It sounds like a lot of money when put in a lump sum but is actually very do-able. That $20 gives 20 people access to life saving treatment. With 5 people paying the $20, equaling $100 total, 4 women are guided through breast cancer treatment the entire journey. The money truly makes a difference in the lives of people with cancer. I hope that changes people’s mindset.” Clower said.

Sign up for Relay for Life 2016 has already begun. 11 teams already signed up, most of them with Disney/Pixar themed names such as “Up Up and Away with Cancer,” “Student & Community Villains,” and “A Whole New Relay.” To sign up, visit the Relay for Life website and look for Frostburg State University’s event. Clower’s last remarks about the event was a realistic reminder about what Colleges Against Cancer is working towards with Relay for Life. “I think people forget what Relay is really about sometimes. It’s not just a party or something to do on a Friday night in April. It’s a fundraiser and a celebration of all the hard work put into fundraising leading up to it. Every person has been touched by cancer, and that’s why I am so passionate about bringing Relay back in full force. I want to see our community coming together and bringing hope to survivors and all those who have felt cancer’s effects” she said.

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